Rep. Antonio Ensures Funding Continues For Domestic Violence
Bipartisan bill will comply with Federal law for VAWA funding

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and State Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) introduced legislation today that would allow Ohio to continue to receive federal dollars from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

The proposed legislation would codify all the proceedings expressed in federal law for which costs or fees may not be collected in connection with a protection order proceeding. Current Ohio law prohibits assessing costs or fees to either party (petitioner or respondent) in connection with the filing, issuance, registration, or service of civil and criminal protection orders.

“I am pleased to sponsor this legislation that would help protect the victims of domestic violence by ensuring the availability of VAWA funds.” said Rep. Antonio.

The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013 was enacted on March 7, 2013.  As result of this legislation, states will have to make additional certifications to receive VAWA funds. 

States have until the last day of their current legislative session to come into compliance with this requirement or risk losing VAWA funds.  Many communities throughout the state are direct recipients of VAWA funds.  Failure to meet the certification equates to a loss of revenue in Ohio of more than $8,000,000. 

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The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.